How do you prefer to plan your week? Writing everything down in a notebook? Using notes on the phone? Or sticky notes all over your fridge or work desk? Or perhaps you try to keep everything in mind, hoping you won’t miss anything important? These are old-school approaches. At some point, they were good, and they still might be useful for certain cases. However, the pace of the modern world demands us to be flexible yet productive. Forgotten tasks or missed deadlines return as a boomerang, ruining the workflow we intended to build.
Starting to plan your week might be hard. There will be so many questions, and even more of them will arise once you start. And coming up with a workable approach straight away might be impossible, especially for a person who has never done anything like that before. So, we have a solution for you.
xTiles week planning template is easy to use, easy to implement in any routine, and easy to customize regarding your specific needs and lifestyle if needed. You may keep it in your virtual workspace, share it with anyone who should be informed about your plans, print it, and keep it at your desk.
What is a weekly planner
A weekly planner is, broadly speaking, your schedule embodied, whether on paper or virtually. It can be of different sizes, structures, and designs. Some people call one long list of all tasks put together a planner. For some, this concept is more complicated. Their planner may look like 7 seven lists, one for every day of the week, gathered in one place. For some, it is enough only to briefly name their tasks, while others prefer to specify what exactly they are intended to accomplish.
As you can see, the concept of a weekly planner is quite broad and differs from case to case, often leading to misunderstandings. Usually, other people's planners are undiscovered soil with its own organization and structure. And when we need to synchronize our tasks or schedule our time with them, we might get stuck with “translating” what their planner is about.
That’s why weekly planning templates are so great for teams and those who spend time together. For example, xTiles weekly planner offers you an easy-to-understand and work-with structure, leaving space for your customization and improvisation. While it’s standardized, it may still be unique and represent you not only because of your tasks.
We prepared for you a weekly planner template where we combined what is inevitable and deleted what is unnecessary and might distract you from attaining progress during a week. It’s divided into days, with each of them having certain tasks. Also, we understand that not all tasks can be accomplished in one day. Some of them require more time, so in our weekly planner template, you will find a place for your long-term but still weekly tasks. Also, to have everything important in hand, we added a shopping list, your daily-routine tracker, and a place for some pictures or other graphic elements to inspire you.
When you need a plan for a week
Somehow, there’s still the idea that weekly planning templates aren’t for everyone. You must have a super busy lifestyle to benefit from one. Indeed, they are to make your life easier and take the burden of memorizing everything. However, even if you don’t have to attend dozens of meetings every day, you still may need one.
When was the last time you forgot to buy milk while buying a full bag of useless stuff? When was the last time you forgot to wish your granny a happy birthday? Or have you ever asked someone to remind you to do something later, and they forgot about it too? Weekly planners are for avoiding these kinds of accidents.
Here are the most common situations where a good weekly planner may be a life-changer.
- If your calendar is overloaded with everything you need to do, you may use a weekly planner. After all, the job needs to be done. And you already know how busy you are without another look at the calendar.
- If you’re tired that your coworkers keep interrupting and disturbing you in the middle of something important, you may use a shared weekly planner to make them respect your time. They also will see what you’re working on right now without questions.
- If you’re used to planning your time but have been doing it the hard way, a weekly planner may significantly ease the process. For example, week planning using excel templates is always a task that requires additional knowledge and skills. The visual appearance of that kind of weekly planner is rather unappealing.
- Besides a weekly planner for all of your weekly tasks, there may be a planner for specific needs and goals. A lot of people use weekly lesson-planning templates, weekly food-planning templates, weekly teaching-planning templates, weekly sales-planning templates, etc., to arrange different spheres of their lives separately.
And remember that
- Sometimes, even doing-nothing requires a strict plan.
- Putting a checkmark near an accomplished task is quite satisfying.
- It’s always good to have an alibi.
How to use a weekly planner?
The right answer to that question would be “as you wish”. No one can decide what you should do with your planner. However, we dare to share our own experiences and what we came up with working on our weekly planning template.
- Don’t be scared to have weekly plans for different spheres of your life. Separating work from studying, you won’t get lost, but quite the opposite. It will be easier to find the needed information, easier to arrange new tasks, and easier to see where you currently are. And using templates, you won’t waste time on arranging them.
- Try to divide your tasks evenly throughout the whole week. Think about it like it’s a marathon and not a sprint. A good start may be half a deal, but remember that there will be tasks waiting for you on Wednesday, Thursday, and, alas, even on Friday.
- Avoid the temptation to add to your weekly planner long-term goals. For them, you may create another document. Include only those tasks you can complete within the current week.
- Don’t be scared to share your personal weekly work plan with your teammates. It will save you and your colleagues a lot of time.
- Divide and rule. One list for all weekly tasks might be quite inconvenient to use, even if there’s a due date near each task. Likely till the end of the week, you will be able to catch the needed task easily, but going through the whole list each time will be challenging. So, divide your list into days. If there are days when you need a bit more free schedule, you can juggle the tasks so that no deadline will be missed.
- Make it look nice. Let you like what you see. Let your weekly plan not make you cry, neither because of how much everything you need to do or its appearance. Adding rich content or using your favorite colors won’t hurt. A visually appealing weekly planner may cheer you up when you’re tired.
How to create a weekly plan that will work for you?
As we already mentioned, a weekly plan is very personal. It can say a lot about its owner. It shows whether you like to get done with the longest and hardest tasks at once or postpone them. It represents your style, when is your most productive time, etc. Well, your planner will represent all of these if it’s created correctly and regarding your needs and situation. Otherwise, it not only won’t work, it probably will annoy and slow you down.
Office workers are usually involved in corporate planning, whether they want it or not, while their personal lives might stay utterly hectic. Why is this so? The first and foremost reason is that their companies use a weekly work planning template that is inconvenient and causes more stress than profit. The experience they’ve gotten is negative, so they rely on their memory because no planner at all may seem to them better than a bad one. However, there are hundreds of free weekly planning templates, and there’s definitely at least one for you.
We already went over almost all the most important aspects of a successful weekly planner. The core idea we want to share is that a weekly planner is a great way to relax a bit without affecting your daily tasks and routine. And a weekly planner template is a great way to ease the whole process.
Now, let’s finish with a few last suggestions on how you can make a weekly plan that will work for you.
- Be realistic whenever you calculate your time and set tasks. It may be better to underestimate than overestimate yourself.
- Estimate the amount of work that has to be done. If, due to the specifics of your job, there are many tasks that pop up occasionally and you can’t schedule them beforehand, calculate your time considering them. In case there won’t be any surprises, you will have more time for other tasks.
- Estimate yourself and how much of it you can actually accomplish without putting yourself to the limits. It’s great to put as many check marks as possible, but at what price?
- Consider possible blockers and how they may affect your productivity.
- Make sure you don’t overload your weekly plan with second and third-priority tasks so that there’s no space for the top-priority ones.
- Plan your breaks as well. They are as important as your time spent working. Moreover, without productive breaks can rarely be productive work.
- Plan your deep work day when you feel like it. Some people prefer Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Some like to start powerfully on Monday. And, probably, no one is the most productive on Fridays.